A little trick: select a random file or line in the file with shuf

Of course, we all value freedom forever. In particular, freedom of choice. But sometimes it is burdensome. He looked, for example, in the folder with the video, and there are a bunch of films from the untreated. What to stop on, what to choose? What a nuisance! I just want to get a coin and, by a simple coincidence, “heads-tails” solve the problem, but, alas, oh, can’t find a coin from 20-30-40- ?? by the parties. Fortunately, there is such a coin in Linux. Who cares – under cat.

You do not need to install anything. Everything is already in any Linux distribution. This is the shuf command, a random value generator. You can fully familiarize yourself with its functionality by typing “man shuf”, but I will talk about two specific examples.
So, we return to our folder with movies (“cd / home / user / video”, for example) and enter the following:

ls | shuf -n1

The first part should already be familiar to everyone, the ls command gives us the contents of the folder. Next, we pipe the output of the ls command to the shuf command, which randomly selects one line from this output. That is one file from the entire contents of the folder (or rather, its name). Random. Do you want not one, but a couple or more? Ok, instead of “-n1” write “-n2” or “-n3” or another value.
Second example. We have a list of something in stock. It is located in a plain text file. We type in the console:

cat spisok.txt | shuf -n1

All the same, only instead of the folder, e have a text file. The cat command outputs the contents of the file to the terminal, and the shuf command selects a random string from this content.
That’s all. Obviously, you can come up with other use cases.

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Viva La Linux!

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